Came back from Detroit to instant prep for a really wonderful exhibition "LGBT Art: Our Common Wealth" at the Commonwealth Club Gallery in San Francisco. (It's in downtown San Francisco. It's free and it runs til 9/21) The reception and artists' talk was great. The link to Body Impolitic about the show is here

But..then I came down with the inevitable overwork bug. I'm much improved but still getting over it.

Had an amazing experience at the Sojourner Truth archive in Battle Creek and Detroit was fascinating.

Will write about all this when I'm feeling better. Real soon now I hope.

Off in the Morning
Leaving in the morning. As always, bless my cat sitter.

I have 3 photos in the art show 2 of Bernadette Bosky from Women En Large (she's one of the guests of honor), and one of Samuel R. Delany from Familiar Men. His is the photo that was in the National Queer Arts Festival exhibition that closed recently.

I'm moderating the panel "Fat, Feminism and Fandom Revisited." How have things changed since fannish feminists and fat activists first started this panel series? What did it accomplish, within fandom and outside of it? Panelists are Rachael Acks, Arthur D. Hlavaty, Eva Whitley and Bernadette Bosky. It's pretty close to the 30th anniversary of the first panel that Debbie Notkin and I did in 1984 in Los Angeles.

Conversation will be about the history both in fandom and the larger world, and also very much about now.

I think I've mentioned that I'm going to be able to go to the Sojourner Truth Museum on Tuesday in Battle Creek and see the archive of her photographs. This started with this blog on Body Impolitic "Sojourner Truth: I Sell the Shadow to Support the Substance" Geri Sullivan wrote that she might be able to have me see the archives and that's what happened!!

"Sojourner Truth, according to the Willis/Krauthamer book Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans And the End of Slavery, understood the power of photography, and actively distributed photographs of herself:

“Those pictures were meant to affirm her status as a sophisticated and respectable “free woman and as a woman in control of her image.” The public’s fascination with small and collectible card-mounted photographs, allowed her to advance her abolitionist cause to a huge audience and earn a living through their sale. “I Sell the Shadow to Support the Substance,” proclaimed the famous slogan for these pictures."

I'll write about seeing the archive when I get back.

Still have boxes to rope and tape. Really looking forward to seeing folks in Detroit.

Detcon1: Hello I Must be Going
My boxes are mostly packed. The jewelry is finished and ready. It includes this sea shaped Baltic amber pendant. I got the amber when I was in Finland last year.

Size is about 1.75" and the setting is silver.  The design is a Ginkgo leaf.  About a block from where I live is a street with 22 Ginkgo Trees (Yes, I counted them.)  The design is based on a leaf from one of those trees. The Ginkgo is a living fossil recognizably related to the Ginkgos from the Permian dating back 270 million years. The amber is about 50 million years old so aside from the aesthetics of the design I love the idea that they were contemporary millions of years ago.

Ginkgo biloba fossil Eocene leaf from the McAbee, Canada.

The leaf below is a modern one not that's there is much difference.  They turn a stunning golden yellow in the fall.

ginkgo leaf

I've made an astonishing number of new rings that range from Peruvian opal to a fossilized gastropod cabochon.

I need to go back to work but I'll post tomorrow about my Fat Feminism and Fandom panel and my photos in the Art Show.

Photographs and Mythic Tiger
I'm getting my photographs ready for the Detroit art show. I'm bringing 2 photographs of Berndatte Bosky (who is one of the guests of honor) from Women En Large and the photo of Samuel R Delany from Familiar Men that was just in the National Queer Art Festival exhibition.

I'm polishing some earrings and small pendants right now and hopefully will be finished with them by tomorrow.

The group includes my mythic Japanese tiger pendant. There was long period of time when there were no tigers to see in Japan and the artist's prints of them are imagined in some excellent and somewhat alien ways. Geri Sullivan went to an exhibition of these prints a long time ago and gave me the catalog. It was the inspiration for this design. Coincidentally I bought a small figure of a tiger today that I think will end up as part of a photograph one of these days.

I'm thinking about a honeycomb black opal and starting to imagine designs.

Getting Ready for Detcon1
I just finished setting the stones for the rings for Detcon1. They include a stunning Lloyd Eshbach blue tiger eye, a Peruvian opal, and a brilliant peridot.

Also finished but not set is the Baltic water shaped amber. I love the textures and the shadows in it.

I'm also making a black silver dragonfly with yellow gold wings set with a small black opal and a faceted garnet. Faceted garnets make great dragonfly eyes.

Also getting three photographs ready for the art show. Two nudes of Bernadette Bosky (She's one of the guests of honor.) from my book "Women En Large: Images of Fat Nudes" and one of Samuel R. Delany from "Familiar Men: A Book of Nudes".

I'm becoming seriously frazzled but it will all get done. Staring to look forward to seeing everyone there. And I get to go to the Sojourner Truth Museum!! More about that later.

Forest From "The Wild Ways"
II'm now totally back and working hard for Detcon1 in July.  Very much back at my wax bench.

Just received 3 beautiful watermelon tourmalines that are blue and pink - very special.

I wrote earlier about having commissions for very different interpretations of the forest from Tanya Huff's "The Wild Ways".

The  one below is silver and clear rutilated quartz.  in addition to the  outside trees in the design, I also carved a forest grove behind the  stone.  I'd never done this kind of carving on a pendant.  It worked  even more beautifully then I hoped.  The photo is pretty good and I think  it gives a fine sense of the back carving.  I'm definitely going to do  another
carving behind a rutilated quartz - it's a concept I want to develop.

It's from the collection of Bayla Fine.

I just checked this for typos and it's really time for me to quit for the night.

Photographs In 2014 National Queer Arts Festival
(crossposted on Body Impolitic and Dreamwidth)

I'm delighted to have 2 of my nude portraits in Body, body, bodies, a feature exhibition of the 2014 National Queer Arts Festival in San Francisco.

One is of my friend Tee Corinne (taken shortly before her death in 2006). Tee was a groundbreaking Lesbian erotic artist whose works included The Cunt Coloring Book, her solarized erotic photographs of lesbians, and her remarkable final project Scars, Stoma, Ostomy Bag, Portacath: Picturing Cancer In Our Lives.

Tee Corrine


The other is of Samuel R Delany, from my photo suite Familiar Men: A Book of Nudes. From his earliest books as a science fiction writer, his work included issues of sexuality, ethnicity, race and gender, including polyamorous love. He brought queerness into the future.

… It was at this point that Delany began dealing with sexual themes to an extent rarely equaled in serious writing. Dhalgren and Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand include several sexually explicit passages, and several of his books such as Equinox (originally published as The Tides of Lust, a title that Delany does not endorse), The Mad Man, Hogg and Phallos can be considered pornography, a label Delany himself endorses. (Wikipedia)

He was named a Grandmaster of Science Fiction at the Nebula Awards in San Jose earlier this month.


The Bay Area has a long history of political activism that extends to this day. This history of civic engagement has nurtured visual art that pays special attention to the politics of the body as well as the body politic. For those who are denied access to traditional political means, or for those who voluntarily reject this, artists have used their own bodies as sites of political transformation or contestation.

Whether it is in performance art, installation, film/video, photography, or traditional media such as painting and drawing, artists use bodies (their own and others) as site, metaphor, and catalyst for change. This year’s exhibition presents 27 cutting edge artists who take on the body for your pleasure and edification.

This exhibition is produced by the Queer Cultural Center as a visual arts centerpiece of the National Queer Arts Festival 2014. This year’s festival theme is “Body Politic/s,” and more information about upcoming festival programming can be found here.

The opening is at the Somarts Gallery, 934 Brannan Street, in San Francisco on June 7th, from 2PM-5PM. I'll be there and so will Deb.

 And there is a walk-through with curators and artists (open to the public) on June 14, 11am. And I'll be there too.

Wiscon Panel: Time, Contingency, Memory: As Elements of Art
(cross posted on Dreamwidth as laurieopal)

I suggested this panel because my new work involves these elements, and I'm delighted to have remarkable women on the panel with whom I've had conversations about this.  Panelist are editor Debbie Notkin, and writers Nisi Shawl and Pat Murphy.

Time, Memory and Contingency are part of everyone's work.  I'm working with them in visual art, writers work with language and this is what I'm hoping we'll have an exciting conversation about. We'll be discussing, among other things, how these elements come up in their work and thoughts?

My new project is  Memory Landscapes: A Visual Memoir.  I want to travel through time, the person I am now visiting the persons I used to be.  But memory isn't linear, so the trip is layered and interwoven, because  inside the head everything happens at once. I want to make an autobiographical visual memoir of my personal life and the larger history I've lived in.

Most people have photographs and memory objects that evoke their interwoven memories.  In my images many objects are fragments of my past that I've carried with me into the present. The compositions of the images make a piece of my layered memories.  

Life as lived is incoherent, we impose narratives on the telling of our lives.  This should make for interesting discussion.

I had already been thinking about iPad art, separately from any project.  With an iPad, for the first time one can make work where viewers everywhere see the original art, not reproductions or recreations.  iPad art is also illuminated from within, presenting the opportunity to express the layering of memory.  In a sense, I am creating memory landscapes that are iPad still lifes.  They are created completely for the camera, except for cropping there is no photoshop.

I'll be showing the work I've done so far.

I'm excited about being part of this and am expecting to learn a lot from Debbie, Nisi, Pat and the audience.

Stones for Wiscon and Covalite
My brain is seriously burned right now. I just finished packing the stones for Wiscon including the one's that just arrived from my lapidary.

It's all very meticulous work and while I love looking at all the new and now so new stones the concentration is fierce. Stones include druze crystals in a variety of minerals including a stunning large gem silica, pink opal from Peru, prenite (golden and new to me), and some stunning small Ethiopian opals.

(As I write,I am pretending not to see my cat, George, steal a pen, roll it across the floor and bury it under the rug. It seems a shame to deprive him of the pleasure.)

This is a beautiful covalite (They are found in conjunction with silver ore.) that I set for an antique Russian chain.  The stone is a deep reflective, somewhat chatoyant dark blue that doesn't photograph well so you'll have to use some imagination. It's in a shade of gold made to harmonize with the deep gold of the chain.  Pendant is about 1.75 inches.  From the collection of  Wendy Czarnecki.

wendy covaliteadjweb2_0516
Looking forward being less burned and being at Wiscon.

Work for Wiscon, Jade Pendant Etc.
I've got the jewelry mostly finished for Wiscon. Tomorrow I'm doing the final polishing on the Heyiya-if Kesh symbol from Le Guin's "Always Coming Home" . As I said earlier, it's the first of the Wiscon designs from books by the guests of honor. They cast beautifully and I'm very happy with them.

The engraving on the Charley's wood pendant from Tanya Huff's the "Wild Ways" worked out even better then I hoped. I have a feeling that it's unphotographable but I'm going to try. I have 2 other rutilated quartz cabuchons layed out to think about. This kind of wax engraving is new to me and very exciting. The effects of the quartz in front of it create a whole extra dimension.

The photo is of the Lloyd Eshbach cut jade pendant in gold that I've been writing about. The design reflects 18th century
Chinese paintings. (I've seen number of them in museums and the best of them are exquisite.) The other influence is Chinese white mutton fat jade handing pieces, but they have influenced almost all my jewelry work over the years.

The pendant  includes the classic elements, a cliff, a waterfall and a small pine tree.  I think the work and the jade really speak to each other.

chinese design jadeweb_0512

It's about 2" high.  From the collection of Rebecca Burgess.

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